May Beeline 2009
2008 Board of Directors
Mike Slater,
118 Robinhood Ave.
Plattsmouth, NE 68048,
Vice President:
Cheryl Osterloh,
7519 N 285 Ave Circle
Valley, NE 68064
[email protected]
Warren Nelson,
2839 N 46th,
Lincoln, NE. 68504,
Ph. 402-466-8173
Joann Vasko,
13324 Madison,
Omaha, NE 68137,
Ph. 402-895-3766
Program Director:
Mike Bush,
8201 214th St,
Greenwood, NE 68366-2303,
Ph. 402-786-5841,
Newsletter Editor:
Keith Nielson,
865 Leonard Ave,
Polk, NE 68654, Ph. 402-765-2391,
[email protected]
Business Advertising Rates
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Half Page
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Quarter page
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Business card
Six months-$90
Classified ads by members free.
All ad material needed print ready by 20th of
each month. If purchasing ad for full year ad
layout can be changed each issue before the
20th of the month. Acceptable formats PDF,
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must be paid for before they are run. Issues of
the newsletter are posted on our association
web site @ For
more information contact the editor.
Hey folks, it‟s really good to be back in the states. Was able to make it out for the
beekeeping class at Mead and see everybody once again, shake a few hands and
interact with the bees. I realized it is not a instant jump thinking like a beekeeper
again. I was trying to describe the term “laying worker” but couldn‟t get those two
words out. It doesn‟t take long though. The first order of business was to locate my
beekeeping equipment which was scattered throughout the garage amongst everything
else. Once I had the smoker, hive tool, and the rest of the battle rattle in hand I once
again felt like there was peace in the world. In all reality, after being gone for a year
coming back was the easy part. The amount of work that I had to get caught up on
around the house and yard is overwhelming. I‟ve knocked a couple of big projects on
the honey do-it list but have a long ways to go. Going back to work was at Offutt was
easy too, getting back into the swing of things and a routine is the tough part. It isn‟t
so much starting your job all over; it‟s trying to figure out what changed, what you
forgot about, and relearning how you fit in. Everything changed while I was gone.
The bees, they didn‟t change. They still sting the same.
Mike Slater
Secretary’s Corner:
The Nebraska beekeepers met March 29 at Deb & Mark Swirmicky house. Deb served
a delicious lunch that was made from natural foods grown by the Swirmicky‟s. It was
a beautiful Sunday drive thru the loess hills to get to their house.
Pat Strecker gave a nice presentation on making beeswax candles. She
brought items she had made followed by a group discussion on the different methods
we use on melting down beeswax. Thank you pat. The centerpiece on the table was a
beehive cake made by Deb from natural products. She served it for dessert and it was
as good as it looked. We did not have a business meeting so no new or old business.
Next meeting is April 11 at ARDC at Mead, NE. It will be a potluck and Dr.
Marion Ellis will do a presentation on practical exercises In beekeeping. Hope to see
you there.
The Nebraska Beekeepers met April 11 at the Apiculture Lab in Mead, NE. with the
new 2009 participants of the Beginning Beekepers classes. Also 5 of the 6 scholarship
winners from our club were there.
When we arrived Dr. Ellis was demonstrating th the new beekeepers how to light
their smokers. It was a contest to see whose smoker would burn the longest. One of
Dr. Ellis UNL sutdents Jeremy Wagnitz with the help of Stephine Steele (scholarship
winner) demonstrated how to add a new package to a hive. The queen is held out
while the bees are shaken into the empty hive. Then carefully add the frames as not to
squash the bees. Then add the queen. Feed new bees a 1:1 sugar water syrup until they
will no longer take it. When the bees start to take in nectar and pollen they will quit
using the sugar water. Check the hive in one week to see if the queen is laying eggs.
Dr. Ellis then open a few hives overwintered hives and identified the queen, and
passed around frames with eggs, larvae capped brood, drones and honey contain in
them. The large group then broke into smaller groups and hives were opened and
frames were taken out and passed around for the students to identify what was in the
frame. A potluck dinner was then enjoyed by all. It was nice enough that we could eat
outside. Lots of bee talk took place while we ate. Inside the building everyone had a
look at honey and wax processing equipment and how ith operates. A lesson was
given on queen banks and how to put together package bees. It was a very informative
day. Joann Vasko, Secretary
6 Pat Strecker Talking about using a double boiler to melt wax
safely during the March 29th meeting.
4 Smoker competition line at the Mead workshop
5 Deb Swirmicky's wonderful dessert made in the form of a
skep of bees which was served at the March 29th meeting.
3 Jeremy Wagnitz and Oseola FFA member and scholarship
winner installing a package of honeybees during the workshop
at Mead on April 11th
2 Dr. Ellis explaining that pussy willows are an excellent source
of pollen early in the year for bees.
1 Dr. Ellis and his doctorate student shaking bees into a
package at the April 11th workshop at the ARDC at Mead
Classified Advertisements
For Sale:
Dadant stainless steel settling tank with baffle 31 inches diameter and 28 inches high, Maxant electric Chain
Uncapper model 1700, Walter T. Kelley wax melter with stand and bucket. Dadant Mini Melter with stand,
steel food grade 55 gallon barrels for honey storage. Contact Warren Nelson at 402-466-8173 or email
[email protected]
Equipment for Sale: Ron Cowden was a beekeeper in Lincoln, NE. He recently passed away and his family
has donated all of his beekeeping equipment to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Department of
Entomology. The University does not need the equipment so they are selling everything with the money going
to the Department of Entomology. The equipment list is as follows:
Dadant 25 gallon water jacketed bottling tank with electric stir system
2" Metal Honey Gate
Woodman style Galvanized 45 frame Radial Electric Extractor
2-55 gallon Steel Barrels with gates (could be used for mixing and dispensing syrup)
Should you have an interest in any of these please contact Warren Nelson at 402-466-8173 or e-mail
[email protected] Warren has agreed to sell the items for the University with the proceeds going to the
Department of Entomology.
For Sale:
Five frame nuc‟s or 3 lb bee packages first come first serve basis expected delivery date May 15th. Also
available bulk honey for more information contact Pat Chandler 308-880-1733 or e-mail Chandlers Sandhill
Honey [email protected]
Better Way Wax Melter, Leon Schuette, 26143 County Rd 8 Herman, NE 68029 ph. 402-654-3525
*New* Screened bottom boards complete with board to calculate mite populations, total clear screened opening
below brood chambers and 3/8 inch opening to prevent mice getting into your hive. Contact Keith Nielson,
phone 402-765-2391 or email [email protected]
Wanted Equipment
Used eight frame bee equipment, contact Pat Chandler 308-880-1733 or e-mail Chandlers Sandhill Honey
[email protected]
Wanted Bees
We live right next to Lake Cunningham in North Omaha. We live on 10 acres of ground. I have approximately
3 acres of rear property backing up to the lake that can be replanted into clover or whatever a person would like
to flavor the honey. I'm willing to lease the ground for a nominal fee for someone to house their bee hives. I can
do some minor maintenance on them but they would be responsible for the major upkeep and harvesting. Very
flexible and willing to work out a deal that will be beneficial to both parties. Any additional information I can
provide, I will be happy to supply. Again thanks for all your help. Michelle McCaulley, 8707 N 96th St, Omaha
NE 68812, h) 402-572-7972, c) 703-405-5769
Upcoming Events:
May 3, 2009: Monthly Meeting at Bill and Judy Lillie 1:30 pm at Bill Lillie's beeyard south of Beatrice at
2722 East Walnut Road, Wymore, Nebraska. We plan to look at the Kenya hives and horizontal hives. If the
bees co-operate, Mike Bush and Bill hope to demonstrate an actual cut-out of a colony in a wall of a building
using a bee vac and hinged frames. It should be interesting! Please bring your full protective gear to watch the
Also, at the March meeting we had discussed solar wax melters, and Charlie Simonds plans to bring one in May
so we can see what it looks like.
Directions to the farm at 2722 East Walnut Rd, Wymore, Nebraska:
Take Hwy 77 South out of Lincoln. (If you're entering Lincoln on Interstate 80, take Exit 397 for Highway 77
South also called Homestead Expressway.) Go on Hwy 77 south from Lincoln about 35 miles to Beatrice.
Continue south out of Beatrice on Hwy 77 about 9 miles to the intersection of Hwy 112. Continue STRAIGHT
South on Hwy 112 for 6 miles to the stop sign at Hwy 8. Turn East (left) on Hwy 8 and go three miles to South
23rd Road. Turn south (right) on South 23rd Road and go one mile to the corner of 23rd and Walnut. Turn left
(east) and go 1/4 mile
If you are traveling in from the East, just go to the intersection of Hwy 77 and Hwy 8 (there's a flashing light)
and go West 2 miles to 23rd Road and then south (left) one mile and then east (left) 1/4 mile
If you need help or have questions, we can be reached THAT DAY at PH (402)239-2990. Otherwise our home
phone is 402-228-3851
May 17, 2009 North Central Nebraska meeting at Ellen Boshart at O‟Neil, presentation will be installation of
screened bottom boards, swarm prevention, presenter Keith Nielson.
June 12-13, 2009: Nebraska Value-Added Products Workshop: The University of Nebraska will offer a ValueAdded Products Workshop. The first day will cover techniques for managing bees for comb honey production
and techniques for producing creamed honey. Day 2 will be devoted to mead making. Presenters will include
Ken Schramm, Marion Ellis, Joli Winer and Cecil Sweeney. Registration is $25 per day or $45 for both days
and includes lunch and a workbook. Program details and registration information can be requested from
[email protected] or by calling Jeri Cunningham at 402-472-2123.
July 9-11,2009: Heartland Apiculture Society, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH.
July 15, 2009: Monthly Meeting at Jack Eagers, near Ashland. Topic TBA
July31-August 2, 2009 Northeast Treatment Free Beekeeping Conference, The Doyle Conservation Center,
Leominster, Massachusetts
August 3-7, 2009: Eastern Apiculture Society- The Brethren Beekeeping, Without Chemicals, Holiday Valley,
Ellicottville, New York
August 12, 2009: Monthly Meeting at Mike Terneus near Bellevue, NE. Topic TBA.
August 17-20, 2009: Western Apiculture Society-Dry Creek Best Western Inn, 198 Dry Creek Road,
Healdsburg, California, USA 95448
January 12-16,2010: North American Beekeeping Conference, Wyndham Orlando Resort, Orlando FL. Hosted
by ABF
For the good of the association
Please welcome the following new members to the association, Cara Morgan, Hamburg, IA; Richard and Nancy
Fish, Superior; Dr. Joseph and Mary Swoboda, Lincoln;
Membership is up for renewal in May:
Membership up for renewal in May: Kent Rasmussen, Richard Cornelius, Brad Hansen, Jim Holterman, Ryan &
Kim Tramp, Marva Wasser, Shari Pratt, Kevin Meysenburg, & Richard Fish
Membership Past Due in March: , Mike Brahms, Tom & Linda Schwarz, John Cidlik, , Ralph Tate. This
mailing will be last issue of the Beeline if dues are not paid.
Membership Past Due in April: Jan Bergt, Austin Gabriel, Jim Keen, Mike & Deb Kennedy, Nealy Branting,
Granada Dooley, and Emil Pierson
The association is trying to get all memberships due on in January of the current year. Also we are trying to be
Eco-friendly by delivering the newsletter via e-mail to reduce paper cost. Members who receive their newsletter
via e-mail receive it at least 2 days earlier than those by United States Postal Service.
Treasurers Reports
Beginning Balance
$ 1.07
$ 6.88
$ 9.91
Beginning Beekeepers Workbooks
Poverty Ridge Apiary
SC & D Trucking
VonSeggern for Joshua
Total Income
Keith Nielsen - newsletter expense
UNL Extension - books
WalMart - pop
WalMart - cups
Total Expenses
Letters to Editor
Thought you might be interested in hearing from Abby, age 9. She joined the association last year. She has
been working with our local county 4-H council to get some exhibits included at the Butler County Fair this
year. She did short presentations for the 4-H Council
and for the Butler Co. Ag Society. Everyone has
been very supportive of her and has been very
interested in Beekeeping. I think they will have at
least a couple of classes, which can then also be
exhibited at the State Fair in open class as well. We
will keep you posted on what they decide and how
much interest we have in the beekeeping project.
She also was asked to give a presentation to
her 4-H club on March 1. Abby‟s talk was titled “A
Beekeeper‟s Show and Tell”. She talked about the
clothing a beekeeper wears, the equipment needed and
the parts of the beehive. She had fellow Plum Creek
7 Abby Lyons presenting to her 4-H group
4-H member Kaitlyn Coufal model the clothing. After
the meeting she and her grandfather, Norm Andrews continued answering questions from the 31 members and
20 parents who were present at the meeting. Abby and Norm began beekeeping in 2008 and their two colonies
have survived the winter and they are getting ready to expand their operation to 6 hives this spring.
I attached a couple of pictures from the 4-H meeting.
Lisa Lyons
Dwight, Ne
From Catch the BUZZ
Minneapolis Wants Honey Bees!
By Alan Harman
Minneapolis takes a step towards ending a 34-year ban and allowing beekeeping within city limits.
The council's Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee voted unanimously for a city ordinance
allowing anyone living on 1/2 acre or less to have up to two bee colonies.
A lot larger than 1/2 acre but smaller than 3/4 acre can have four colonies; larger than 3/4 acre lot but
smaller than one acre six colonies; one acre but smaller than five acres eight colonies;
For lots larger than five acres the number will be decided by the MACC manager.
Consent from all abutting property owners would be required, plus 80% of owners within 100 feet of the
keeper's lot. The bee area would have to be fenced, with flyways devised with barriers of at least six feet to get
bees to altitude quickly when the hive is less than 25 feet from a property line.
The ordinance requires would-be beekeepers to pay $100 for a permit and then $50 a year for a licence.
Applicants would have to meet an educational requirement before getting the permit. Minneapolis Animal Care
and Control (MACC) will inspect the premises at least annually.
The committee vote came after MACC spent eight months researching the topic and spoke with a number of
individuals. In particular, University of Minnesota Prof. Marla Spivak provided significant information and
feedback on the proposed ordinance. Spivak is nationally recognized for her work with honeybees.
MACC also spoke to Bill Stephenson from St. Paul Animal Control. Beekeeping is permitted in St. Paul and
Stephenson says the greatest investment of time is the initial permit, but after that they have seen few issues.
Beekeepers serving the community by removing a swarm or swarms of honeybees from locations where
they are not desired will not be considered in violation of the law limiting the number of colonies while housing
the swarm on the apiary lot for no more than 30 days.
The full council will vote on the proposal April 25.
Pesticide residues on vegetables from China. One wonders about Honey.
Greenpeace China recently conducted a survey on vegetables sold in China's large cities such as Beijing,
Shanghai and Guangzhou. The organization found many pesticide-ridden vegetables; some of them even carry
cocktails of many highly poisonous pesticides.
In the Greenpeace China report titled, “Pesticide Cocktails: Have You Drunk Some Today?” the
organization said that residents in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou almost drink a cup of pesticide cocktail
from their fruits and veggies every day. Among the pesticides found, five of them cause cancer. The report also
shows that 89 percent of the samples found in these three major cities have pesticide residues; 20 percent
contain illegal and highly poisonous pesticides; 60 percent have residues of at least five kinds of pesticides.
A commodity inspection official in Guangdong province said that the abuse of pesticides increased in
recent years. “Farmers did not know much about pesticides eight or ten years ago. In recent years, the farmers
started to focus more on economic returns and the appearance of the produce and apply pesticides heavily. Now
the farmers don‟t eat what they grow, they eat vegetables that require very little pesticide.”
Gao Dawei, a former professor of South China University of Technology who specializes in food
additive chemicals, said that residues of multiple pesticides are more harmful to the human body than a single
pesticide. “It‟s a „synergetic effect‟ as we call it in chemistry. A single chemical may not have much effect but
several of them mixed together, cause the chemical reactions to amplify the effect. Most ingested poisons in the
human body have such a kind of synergetic effect and hence a cocktail of poisons may cause more serious
damage than a single one.”
However, Beijing published an official survey recently that states that 96 percent of vegetables in the
city conform to national standards. According to a report in Beijing Daily on April 3, the Produce Safety
Inspection Division of the Standing Committee of the Beijing People‟s Congress announced that 96.75 percent
of vegetables in Beijing passed safety inspections in 2008.
Gao, a commodity inspection official in Guangdong said that official inspections most of the time are
not reliable because of the complex interests between the producers and inspectors. Gao said that China has
very detailed regulations on produce pesticide residue but in reality they are not enforced.
The (Chinese) standards were developed from international standards and are even stricter. However,
when pests became (pesticide) resistant, the farmers must apply higher dosages. Natural disasters from pests
have been getting worse these years and farmers will not have crops if they don‟t use a lot of pesticides,” said
To deal with the residues, Chinese people often choose to prolong the time of soaking and washing their
produce. However, some pesticides cannot be cleaned this way according to Gao. “Water can only remove
general water-soluble pesticides on the surface. I know at least two kinds of pesticides that can not be washed
away. One of them is the acidic pesticides. They react with the produce and bind tightly to it. That is why
approved detergents for vegetable cleaning often contain a little alkali. The other kind can permeate into the
cells of the produce and nothing can wash it away.”
Class Action Against Bond Insurers for a Billion Dollars because of Dumped Chinese Food.
Special to Bee Culture by Alan Harman
Five American food product producers file a $1-billion lawsuit seeking class-action status against a
handful of major insurance companies and the U.S. government for alleged damages caused by dumped
Chinese food products.
The five producers are Sioux Honey Association, Adee Honey Farms, Monterey Mushrooms Inc., The Garlic
Co. and Beaucoup Crawfish of Eunice Inc.
The Dow Jones news service reports the complaint alleges the insurers‟ negligent issuance of customs surety
bonds, and the subsequent refusal to pay under the bonds, allowed the sale of “huge amounts of competing food
imports” from China at below cost, or “dumped” prices.
“The dumping of these imports forced the domestic producers to significantly lower the prices for their
competing products, causing the producers to lose hundreds of millions of dollars,” lawyer Michael Coursey of
Kelly Drye & Warren LLP tells the new service. The company is representing the producers.
Customs bonds, required on all commercial imports entering the U.S., are contracts used for guaranteeing a
specific obligation will be fulfilled between customs and an importer for any given import transaction.
For a comprehensive listing of beekeeping events around the country go to
The complaint alleges that for eight years, the insurers negligently issued hundreds of customs surety
bonds that guaranteed the payment of any dumping duties the government might determine were owed by U.S.
importers for the specified Chinese goods.
The lawsuit also claims the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Commerce Department failed to
enforce four antidumping orders issued to protect domestic producers from dumped Chinese imports.
The defendants include Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Kingsway Financial Services Inc. unit
Lincoln General Insurance Co., Swiss Reinsurance Co. Washington International Insurance Co. and American
International Group Inc. unit American Home Assurance.
Nebraska Beekeepers Association Membership and Membership Renewal Form
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DATE ________________________
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Make checks payable to the “Nebraska Beekeepers Association”
Mail to: Keith Nielson, 865 Leonard Ave, Polk, NE 68654
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*** Special rates on “Bee Culture” and “American Bee Journal” with membership to the state association.***
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Nebraska Beekeepers Association-Beeline
C/O Keith Nielson
865 Leonard Ave
Polk, NE 68654
Keith E. Nielson
Editor, Nebraska Beekeepers Association